Sunday, May 25, 2014

Attack of the Adversary

I've pondered for years the number of reports I hear of "under enemy attack."  To be honest, that always causes me to cringe just a bit.  I'm not suggesting for a moment that there isn't an adversary,and I do believe there are demonic spirits, but realistically, I don't believe they usually come in on attack mode.  Scripture indicates the presence of evil approaches in an enticing manner.  Most believers, even many unbelievers have an aversion to out and out evil.  As a young woman not following Messiah, I knew I wanted no part in the "drug party world" of the seventies.  I cannot say it was a completely moral decision, other than to say, I knew I didn't belong there.  Now, on the other hand, if someone made me feel loved and needed, I'd run headlong into that compromise and captivity.

When I became a believer, "the attacks" if you will seemed to not be temptations for what religion and society calls evil, but rather what is deemed "good and right" in our own eyes.  Invariably, when YHWH was opening a door or expanding this ministry, a side tracking "need" would make itself known.  The biggest struggle in my life is, following Messiah in YHWH's plan for me while dealing with personal relationships.  I desperately wanted to succeed at being a respected member of a family,and that's where the temptation entered, and the failure followed!

It's taken me several years to fully understand why Abraham was called away from family and Paul said it was better to remain single!  I've made peace with the fact I'm called an outcast.  For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, says YHWH; because they called thee an Outcast . . .  Jeremiah 30:17

Keep in mind, our Creator has a plan for each of our lives, while the adversary is not creative.  The adversary has one "wish" for all of us . . . confused bondage.  It is we ourselves who make our weaknesses known.  I was finishing up the remodeling of the mission building when I received the call that a grandchild was on the way.  Remember to be "loved and needed" is my weakness . . . Sadly, that weakness turns into "just needed" which often translates into "used," so many times.  Anyway, the cost of my commitment continued to increase.  With twins on the way and a failed relationship, I gained what was supposed to be a situation in which expenses would be shared to providing for someone who simply reneged and opted for guest status . . . for several months.

There is the one other weapon in the adversary's arsenal that works well on me.  Once I settle for being needed, guilt and obligation become the fetters that hold me . . . or I should say, held me. Since becoming a believer, my mother has always served as what I call negative confirmation.  She's very religious and "knows" what everyone should do.  She's even stated the world would be a better place if everyone thought like she does . . . When she said G-d wanted me to lay down my ministry to take care of grandchildren, I recognized the tone.  I knew better and so I maintained all my commitments to community chaplain services, the neighborhood kids for weekend meal and Bible lesson, and caring for grandbabies!

When my health finally did cave in, there was no support from family.  YHWH did deliver me, however; and raise me back up!  I'm so thankful I didn't succumb to the advice from my own mother, to rebel against YHWH!   There have now been several other situations, in which I clearly heard YHWH, stood my ground, offered limited assistance and when the end came, grieved, but received such relief and shalom in the acceptance.    

I do truly appreciate the fact that the adversary is not creative.  When the same basic premise was attempted once again, after I wrote, "Can We All Be Wrong?"  I recognized the MO and was again, given the power to stand firm, while still hoping.  This time the hope wasn't for my success, however; it was for slavation and genuine repentance for the seekers.  It wasn't long before I heard a very clear word from YHWH.   We are not spiritually bound to social obligations, when covenants are broken.  The "enemy" is not omnipotent, nor is he omnipresent.  It seems often, he receives entirely too much credit for his limited power and our weakness in the flesh.  My desire for success and focus in a specific area made me my own worst enemy!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Betrayal, Gossip, Lashon Hara, or Truth?

This article may be better placed elsewhere, but on the other hand, asking questions does seem to be religiously incorrect . . . Seems we all have our minds made up about certain things, and there are definitely some things of which we must be sure, but this one, I am not.  Most spiritual matters do seem black and white, but considering the changing tide these past few weeks, I'm searching for discovery in whether or not this matter does in fact include some gray area.

To break a confidence absolutely can be a betrayal.  Most of the people I speak with are very careful in what they repeat regarding the business of others, and I appreciate and admire their integrity.  I also realize there are times in which a person may convey an indirect "need for help" and one must truly weigh out the matter to determine if speaking to another may be the help that is needed.  That is when discernment is parmount.

I'm not one to repeat the business of others, as a rule.  When someone confides in me, I believe it was for me to pray and to offer what help I can, personally.  As for my own personal business, I've never felt very comfortable confiding in anyone.  There are people I've tried to trust and they have made me sorry, every time!  I do actually have three family members that I "confide in" when I need the news to get spread quickly and do not wish to have individual personal conversations on the subject.  In typing this, I now wonder if I'm causing these gossips to stumble . . . Although, it is an efficient method.  The subject matter at hand, however; is much more serious than someone knowing my personal business.

The great falling away, prophesied in Scripture is becoming apparent and as the news of these folks turning their back on Y'hshuwah Messiah, ripples through social media, many are hesitant to name names.  I think I'm leaning toward naming names.  This is a serious matter of everlasting consequence.  I've been praying and seeking for a few weeks now, and this came to me this week, and is certainly confirmed in Scripture.  Moses and Paul named names.  Y'hshuwah Messiah gave clear indication at the Passover seder, who would betray him, and John the Baptist addressed a certain religious group as vipers.

And YHWH spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him.  And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.  Numbers 16:23-26

For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica . . . Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:  Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. II Timothy 4:10a, 14-15 

To warn others about false teachers, anti-Messiah missionaries, or untrustworthy politicians, I do not believe is gossip or lashon hara.  I'm not talking about differences of understanding on non-salvation issues, in the body; I'm talking about motivational speakers masquerading as ministers, and anti-Messiah missionaries posing as confused seekers.  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  II Thessalonians 2:3

As for untrustworthy politicians, I'm beginning to think 'untrustworthy' and 'politician' are just interchangeable terms!  If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.  Proverbs 29:12

I do have or I should say did have "friends" on social media who have publicly stated they have stopped believing Y'hshuwah is Messiah.  My first thought toward them, was they had only "tasted of religion or an experience" and couldn't have truly met Messiah.  Hebrews 6:4-6 indicates it is possible to choose wrongly after experiencing the goodness of YHWH in Messiah.  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of G-d, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of G-d afresh, and put him to an open shame.  The interactions and communication reduce rapidly with those who have claimed to walk with Messiah and now openly deny Him.   Once the statement of denial is made, they seem to demonstrate a completely different style of socializing.  Knowing they are campaigning for the enemy, now, I do try to avail myself to any and all who have witnessed this display of denial, but are genuinely seeking.

If anyone has a question about some of the doctrines or teachings of the "mind-changers" please do not hesitate to ask.  If I have any public information, I will share what I know.  Even amongst the devout, truth, is sometimes mislabeled as gossip or lashon hara.  This is a matter of eternal consequence.  Both political parties are moving toward the NWO.  Our military and law enforcement 'work' for the powers that be, and the great falling away has begun!  
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of G-d: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.  Hereby know ye the Spirit of G-d: Every spirit that confesseth that Y'hshuwah Messiah is come in the flesh is of G-d:  And every spirit that confesseth not that Y'hshuwah Messiah is come in the flesh is not of G-d: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.  I John 4:1-3

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Bridegroom

In witnessing the great falling away, prophesied by Paul in II Thessalonians 2, I see the chasm widening of what once was simply a line in the sand.  There is no gray area in this matter.  This great falling away that Paul warned about is happening in several ways, and has been for years.  The first great falling away was official under Constantine's rule.  Obviously much was being lost after the first century believers, but by the fourth century AD, lawlessness was made law!  It began with separating Sabbath from the new first day of rest to politically appease the pagans of Rome.   It was through this time that other religions also sprang up and have continued.  Islam began in the 7th century.  These Torah-less religious paths continued for nearly a millennium through the Dark Ages into the renaissance, with humanity doing what was right in their own eyes, while the pope told the illiterate masses what they should believe.  Witchcraft and sorcery gained a resurgence through the renaissance period.

When Martin Luther translated Scripture into the language of the common man, there was still a great deal of illiteracy, as well as his own anti-Semitism.  So the Protestant reformation really didn't protest the lawlessness of the Roman Catholic church.  The protestant movement basically protested against the Pope and established their own doctrines of what was right in their own eyes.  There is little Biblical difference between Catholicism and the Lutheran denomination which is named for Martin Luther.

There are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations in current estimations.  Obviously, the differences are varied.  Although I do not call myself a Christian, I place my hope of resurrection and everlasting life in Messiah Y'hshuwah's perfect obedience, death, and resurrection.  He made the way, he is The Way to a relationship with our Creator, who is YHWH.  I do not believe in the separation of "The Testaments," nor do I believe Torah was rendered obsolete at Calvary.  Y'hshuwah clearly said he did not come to abolish Torah, but to fulfill.  He set the example of what it is to walk in obedience to the Instructions given to Moses at Sinai.  The need for sin sacrifice ended at Calvary, but obedience to Torah is to follow Messiah.  The Protestant Reformation didn't bring Christians back to discipleship or the lifestyle of 1st century believers.  It is still part of the great falling away, but there is yet another movement of the great falling away, and it's big.

In the realization that Christianity has missed some major fundamental truths, many are leaving the churches.  The empty promises of a "self-serving god" have been revealed as just that, empty promises of those who preach with self-serving motives.  The move away from mainstream Christianity has brought some to the truth, while others simply insist upon keeping Torah and Messiah separated.  This new trend is exactly the opposite of Constantine's Christianity, but on the same continuum.
There are a growing number of former church members, who are now claiming to embrace Torah and reject Messiah.

The first time I heard John 6:66 in dealing with someone, I was devastated.  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  That was over a decade ago.  In studying this passage the realization occurred to me that this recorded circumstance was not just a one time event.  It continues to take place to this day.  As I'm watching more of this great falling away, I've been led to Hebrews 6:6.  Interesting both references contain "the number 6, the number of man."  If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of YHWH afresh, and put him to an open shame.  

I'd like to offer a personal illustration, from a woman's perspective, not to reduce the gravity of this situation, but rather to bring to light, just how personal a relationship with Messiah is.  To renounce Y'hshuwah Messiah, my Bridegroom, and expect our relationship to remain unchanged is utter pomposity!  Recently, I have read and listened to testimonies of salvation, only to later hear, they have "progressed" in their spiritual journey to reject Y'hshuwah Messiah.  This flagrant display of rejection toward someone I love more than life itself, leaves me with this lingering line of questions . . .

What if I told you I didn't really care for your husband and thought everything he said was a lie?  What if you shared, glowingly, how much he has done and I simply shrugged my shoulders in disregard?  What if your husband had a career in public service, fire protection, or military, and I said, "he didn't do it for me?"
Would you count me a friend?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Does the Day Matter?

As with anything regarding Scripture, there is controversy.  Sabbath keeping is certainly no exception.  I discovered Sabbath quite simply.  Although I became what would be called a believer or Christian when I was 10, I didn't enter covenant with our Creator until I began to truly follow Messiah, many years later.  To follow Messiah means we must live as He lived while on earth.  That's not to say, I'm perfect, but rather, have the Instructions written on my heart which means Torah is my life . . . Messiah is The Word of G-d in the flesh.  Galatians 2:20 describes it perfectly.     I am crucified with Messiah: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Messiah liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of G-d, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Many in America truly do try to do the right thing, even those who do not seek G-d, honor much of Torah.  Torah would actually better be translated "Instruction," rather than "law."  Even though many do tend to leave much of Scripture open to personal interpretation, which of course varies, most agree that murder, theft and adultery are wrong.  Even unbelieving parents want a certain level of honor or obedience from their children.  As for not bearing false witness against a neighbor, that gets a bit murky.  Many interpret that to mean "do not lie," yet most of our society acknowledges a great deal of dishonesty from our leadership on down.  Since we have so much debt and credit, I think we, as a country, don't even consider what coveting is any more.  We do tend to try, according to our interpretive definition, to do and expect "the right thing" regarding the last six commandments.

The fourth commandment is the only one that begins with the word:  Remember.  Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.  Sabbath is mentioned nearly 100 times in the Old Testament and over 50 times in the New.  Keeping the Sabbath didn't change between "Testaments."  The book of Acts confirms repeatedly that Sabbath was not changed at Calvary.  History indicates it was Constantine's Nicene Council that established Sunday observance to separate Christians from the Sabbath keepers.  Our 24/7 society has sort of taken the "special" out of every day, much less a specific one.  I've heard people, devout people, claim that it really doesn't matter which day as long as you make one day special.  Scripturally speaking, there's no Scripture to back that, but I do know from personal experience, if one truly sets aside a day to seek YHWH; in that day, He'll tell you which one He has set aside.  We can worship Him every day, and we should, but one day is set apart.

We know from the book of Deuteronomy and throughout Scripture, there were jobs and businesses other than just agriculture, but G-d's people did not do business on Sabbath.  They didn't even collect manna.  We may dress up the reasons we choose to think we are so valuable and special as to receive special dispensation for working on Sabbath, but that's a Scriptural miss also.  Genesis indicates YHWH specifically created the world to keep running while He rested, so who on earth is so indispensible?  The reality is, unless it's an emergency, which means unscheduled, and we meet that need at no charge; we are disregarding Sabbath, which is disobedience, a.k.a. sin.

Many in America refer to Sunday as the Christian Sabbath and Saturday as the Jewish Sabbath, so it was easy for me to seek without a time conflict.  I could attend synagogue Friday evening and Saturday morning and church Sunday.  Not only did this afford me a way to learn how Messiah actually did live, but in further study, I discovered a passage that instructs the people of YHWH to not kindle a light on Sabbath.  Without being fully sure how much of the week-end was involved, I discovered two days without a cigarette made quitting very easy.

It was actually in studying the week of creation, that led me to understand our Creator calls the seventh day of the week His Sabbath.  Sabbath is not a Christian thing, or a Jewish thing, it's a G-d thing.  The seventh day was created for the specific purpose of being different from the rest of the week.  Scripture tells us G-d, Himself rested!  With that information, I gained a new perspective.  If YHWH is resting on Sabbath; any regular activity I might choose, could render me unprotected and on my own!  That was not some place I wanted to be.  Considering the state of humanity; extra rest, no work, no travel, and no buying and selling, does reduce the opportunity for sin.  He literally created a seven day week, specifically to have the seventh day for rest.  He didn't create a thing that day, He simply spoke a seventh day.

In the accounts of the Gospel, Messiah said Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, and that He is Lord of the Sabbath.  Many use that to disregard the seventh day of the week, but it hits me differently. Why would I not want to set Sabbath aside from the regular schedule?  It was made for us, for that purpose.  Our Creator could have gotten all done creating things and then just declared a six day week with no day of rest . . . If Messiah is my Lord, shouldn't I honor and set apart the day in which He refers to Himself as Lord?

And G-d blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which G-d created and made.  Genesis 2:3